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Blueberries: A "Superfood" to Your Health



Blueberries are sweet, low in calories, and loaded with powerful nutrients. They are known as a “superfood” and are one of the healthiest fruits you can eat.


Named for their color, blueberries contain minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants that provide exceptional health benefits. Studies show they protect against cancer, heart disease, and can also help to maintain a healthy blood pressure.


Here are seven health benefits of eating blueberries:


  1. Maintains healthy bones ~ Blueberries contain phosphorous, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, manganese, and vitamin K. Each of these minerals is an important part of bone and consuming enough helps to build and maintain bone strength and structure.

  2. Controls diabetes ~ Studies have shown that consuming blueberries regularly can help reduce fasting blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes. Evidence also indicates that incorporting blueberries into your diet may lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

  3. Promotes healthy skin ~ One cup of blueberries provides 24% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. This important nutrient is essential in the production of collagen, the support system of our skin. Vitamin C also aids collagen in its ability to smooth wrinkles, enhance skin texture, and prevent skin damage caused by the sun.

  4. Lowers blood pressure ~ Blueberries are free of sodium. Eating foods with low sodium levels is crucial to keeping blood pressure low. They also contain potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Studies show consuming these nutrients in adequate amounts may help reduce blood pressure. In addition, a report published by Harvard Medical School found consuming 200 grams of blueberries, about one cup, daily improved blood vessel function and decreased systolic blood pressure.

  5. Prevents cancer ~ In addition to vitamin C, blueberries contain vitamin A and various phytonutrients that function as powerful antioxidants that may inhibit tumor growth and decrease inflammation in the body. They can also slow down and combat certain cancers such as lung, esophageal, mouth, pharynx, endometrial, pancreatic, prostate, and colon.

  6. Improves mental health ~ Studies have proven that consumption of blueberries can improve short-term memory and motor coordination. They also found eating blueberries is linked to slower cognitive decline.

  7. Promotes weight loss and healthy digestion ~ Because of their high fiber content, blueberries can help to maintain regularity and prevent constipation for a healthy digestive tract. Fiber also plays an important role in weight loss and weight management.


You can purchase blueberries fresh, frozen, or freeze dried. They are also available in syrups, jellies, and jams. Just make sure you read the label on frozen or dried blueberries for added sugars. When buying jams and jellies, select all-fruit spreads without added juices, fillers, or sweeteners.


Recipe: Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes



Ingredients:


· 2 cups whole wheat flour

· 2 tsp of baking powder

· ½ tsp of baking soda

· ½ tsp of salt

· 1 tsp of ground cinnamon

· 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt

· 1 ¼ cups of unsweetened almond milk

· ¼ cup pure maple syrup

· 2 large eggs

· 1 tsp of pure vanilla

· 3 Tablespoons of melted coconut oil

· 1 ½ cups of fresh or frozen blueberries


Directions:


First whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together then set aside.


Next, in a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the Greek Yogurt, milk, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla until well combined. Mix in the oil. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently whisk together until combined. Make sure there are no dry patches of flour at the bottom of the bowl. The batter will be thick, and a few lumps are okay.


Gently fold in the blueberries. If using frozen blueberries, use a light hand because they will “bleed” some of the juices and color.


Let the batter rest for five minutes as you heat the stove. This will allow the batter to thicken.


Heat large skillet or griddle over medium heat. Coat generously with a nonstick cooking spray or butter. Once hot, pour ¼ cup of the batter on the griddle and cook for about two minutes or until the edges look set and you can see holes in the pancake’s surface. Flip and cook the other side until cooked through.


You can top with more blueberries if you wish, maple syrup, and a dap of whipped cream. Enjoy!


Author Bio

Isabella Boston

Isabella Boston is a multi-talented writer and the founder of Bella’s Attic Studio. She has several years of experience in copywriting, articles and research, and medical content writing with a focus in traumatic brain injury (TBI). She is a diarist and the author of Passion of Flames. Isabella has special interests in fashion and beauty, health and wellness, and natural healing as it pertains the body, mind, and soul.




Sources:


  1. Ciupka, N. F. C. R. W. B. (2021, April 1). Blueberry benefits and cancer prevention. NFCR. Retrieved April 22, 2023, from https://www.nfcr.org/blog/national-blueberry-month-health-benefits-and-cancer-prevention/

  2. BH;, J. S. A. A. (n.d.). Evidence for anti-cancer properties of blueberries: A mini-review. Anti-cancer agents in medicinal chemistry. Retrieved April 22, 2023, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23387969/

  3. Zaleska. (2023, February 24). Why are blueberries so healthy? Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved April 22, 2023, from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/benefits-of-blueberries/






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